MATCH REPORT: 2007/2008 Season

9 February 2008: FA PREMIER LEAGUE
Reading: -
Everton: Jagielka (62 mins).
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 36,582

Pos Team P Pts GD
17 Birmingham 26 22 -23
18 READING 26 22 -23
19 Fulham 26 19 -19
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Sonko, Cisse, Shorey, Oster (Kebe 81), Harper, Matejovsky, Hunt, Doyle, Kitson (Long 75). Subs Not Used: Federici, Rosenior, De la Cruz.
Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott, Arteta, Carsley, Fernandes (Vaughan 46), Osman, Cahill, Johnson. Subs Not Used: Wessels, Hibbert, Van der Meyde, Nuno Valente.
Reading: -
Everton: -
Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).
Reading's seventh straight league defeat - equally the worst in our history - saw the Royals complete their drop from mid-table to the bottom three. As Reading completed their fifth fixture without finding the back of the net Birmingham moved above the Royals with a point at West Ham. This was another fixture that Reading were unlikely to win that underlined the disaster of last week - losing at home to Bolton with perhaps our worst performance of the season. This was better from Reading but still short of finding a vital win. On another day we might have picked up a point. Stephen Hunt nearly scored with an early free-kick, James Harper hit the post when Reading were attempting to find an equaliser, and in the dying minutes Kebe - making his first Reading appearance - was denied with a last ditch tackle. We also had a penalty appeal turned down in a scrappy fixture in which neither side dominated.


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They will have to play better than they did against Reading, but Everton are becoming adept at winning when not at their best, a trait of all the top teams. It was by sheer persistence that they inflicted a record-equalling seventh straight defeat on Reading, whose prospects of staying in the division appear to be receding with every passing week... Given that perseverance was the theme of the day, it seemed fitting that Jagielka’s goal should decide a match that turned in Everton’s favour with the half-time introduction of the lively James Vaughan. Jagielka, the former Sheffield United player, had a difficult start to his Everton career but is starting to flourish. An hour had elapsed when he looped a header over Marcus Hahnemann, then, with six minutes to go, he denied Jimmy Kebe a goal with a terrific last-ditch block. “You know what you are going to get with Everton, but they do it very well,” Steve Coppell, the Reading manager, said. “They don’t give much away. They are strong physically and mentally and that is important.”
James Ducker, The Times